Diners Can Satisfy Hunger Pangs in Uptown Lexington, NC

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 19:26
Uptown Lexington is a great place to stroll or shop the day away, but with all the enticing aromas in the air, more people are deciding to pull up a chair and stay awhile. With several new restaurants now open in the district, Uptown has become a destination for diners from across the region. Rhonda Lankford, owner of the Village Grill, says customers drive in from Greensboro, Salisbury and Winston-Salem to sample her hand-patted burgers and grilled hot dogs on split-top buns. “They say they just can’t get anything like them anywhere else,” Lankford says. “We also have a cheese steak that is very popular. And we do have pies. In the summer, I keep French silk pie on the menu. We add pecan in the winter.” Nearby, Naples Italian Grille, owned by Emad and Marlena Moustafa, is serving a busy stream of new customers. “I think the quality of our food sets us apart,” Marlena Moustafa says. Since the couple opened the restaurant in June 2009 on South Main, Naples Italian Grille has gained fans and won positive reviews on popular dining Web sites. “Delicious everything,” writes a customer on Merchantcircle.com. “The food is good, the wait staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is nice,” another reviewer reports. The restaurant’s scaloppini and Florentine dishes are especially notable for their Italian authenticity, Moustafa says. “We have dishes nobody else has,” she adds. “Plus, we have a nice atmosphere. I would describe it as warm and comforting.” The cozy dining room seats 65 and is often filled during dinner hours. Prior to opening their business in Lexington, the Moustafas operated a restaurant for seven years in the Linwood community. “Uptown Lexington is a much livelier place,” Moustafa says. “We really like it here.” Customers at Main Street Pizza and Deli love the pizza and rave about the delicious submarine sandwiches. Other popular spots include UpTown Grill and Black Chicken Coffee. One localyahoo.com reviewer says, “I love their famous roast beef sandwiches! I always get mine with extra slaw.” Just down the street at Café 35, proprietor Linda Gosselin says her focus is on customer service. “I’m in the hospitality business first and the restaurant business second,” she says. “Service is key. We are serious about letting customers know we really appreciate them choosing us today.” Gosselin gained experience as the owner of a pancake restaurant in Greensboro for eight years. She intended to retire in Davidson County, and bought a house at High Rock Lake in 2002. But when the restaurant that formerly occupied 103 S. Main St. went out of business, Gosselin dived back in. Café 35 is a casual-dining lunch spot that offers salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers, often with specialty Yukon Gold fries on the side. “We make our own ranch dressing that people love; it’s not out of a jar,” Gosselin says. Café 35 serves dinner on Thursday and Friday, when the menu goes slightly upscale and beer and wine are also offered. “We were serving sandwiches, and the customers said they wanted higher-end items, so we added 8-ounce sirloins, 12-ounce strip steaks, pan-seared tilapia and our pot roast, which people say is ‘as good as grandma’s.’ “We also have a Saturday brunch. Besides serving normal lunch items, we do blueberry and banana pancakes.”